A new report released today by Accenture, shows that public sector agencies risk falling even further behind on technology if they don’t increase the use of machine learning and artificial intelligence. The report examines the adoption of emerging technologies across agencies with the most direct interaction with citizens or the greatest responsibility for citizen-facing services: health and social services, policing/justice, revenue, border services, administration and pensions / social security.
As part of the report, Accenture surveyed nearly 800 public service technology professionals across nine countries to identify emerging technologies being implemented or piloted. These technologies include advanced analytics/ predictive modeling, the Internet of Things, intelligent process automation, video analytics, biometrics/ identity analytics, machine learning, and natural language processing/ generation.
If government fails to adopt these new technologies it may be harder to find technology workers or improve service delivery. Many of today’s technology workers are coming out of school with backgrounds in machine learning and other new technologies that are in high demand in the private sector. If those workers can’t use their skill set in government, public sector offices will fall behind on the technology curve. Report authors add that current technology workers in the public sector should take care to start learning these new skills as a stop gap measure.
“The very concept of work is being redefined as different generations enter and exit the workforce in a rapidly changing technological landscape,” said Terry Hemken, who leads Accenture’s Health & Public Service Analytics Insights for Government business. “Government leaders must make every effort to reskill their people to be relevant in the future and ready to adapt to change.”
Nearly 60 percent of respondents in the report said that being able to implement projects using emerging technologies would require significant investment in reskilling existing staff. Intelligent process automation was cited most frequently (60 percent) as the skill most likely to address technological and data skills shortages.
As citizen expectations continue to rise, one of the primary objectives for technology leaders when implementing emerging technology projects is to improve the experience of citizens, customers and staff, the report concludes.
The full report is available here.